Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett looks at Marvel's new female reader initiative, and takes a pass on the new Robocop movie.
Last time, when I was writing about the new Ms. Marvel, I really should have mentioned it was part of a whole new Marvel female reader initiative, "characters and creators," that includes titles like Black Widow, Elektra, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and the X-Men comic featuring an all women line-up. I'm old enough to actually remember Marvel's first attempt at that, the well intentioned if clueless and ham-fisted "Lady Liberators" from Avengers #83. I assume the thinking beyond it is that Ms. Marvel would have a better chance of success if it were partnered with a line of similarly themed comics. It's just a pity they hadn’t thought of that when they released the recently canceled all female hero team Fearless Defenders in 2013. Of course numbers don't always guarantee safety. I was around in 1972 when Marvel launched a similar line featuring Shanna the She-Devil, Night Nurse and The Cat, none of which hung around very long.
Maybe I missed a memo (I seem to miss a lot of them), but I never heard it being called "characters and creators" before; I just assumed these were being lumped in with the other Marvel All-New NOW! books. But no, it's actually a thing all of its own according to an article titled "Ms. Marvel : Marvel Comics' new focus on women 'characters and creators' aims to defy the scantily clad cliche". It's a piece by Sabaa Tahir that appeared on The Washington Post's Comic Riffs section that quotes Marvel's editor-in-chief Alex Alonso as saying that these books "are not the big-breasted, scantily clad women that perhaps have become the comic book cliche. They are women with rich interior lives, interesting careers and complicated families who are defined by many things--least of all their looks."
The piece also uses the Alonso quote from The Washington Post piece I mentioned in last week's column; "While we don't have any market research, the eyes don't lie. If you go to conventions and comic book stores more and more female readers are emerging." I continue to find it absolutely adorable that there exists a youth synergistic entertainment conglomerate that instead of investing a couple grand on market research (or better yet, asks their parent company to do it for them) they would prefer to make major business decisions the old fashioned way, entirely by means of gut checks.
Marvel OGN Based on ABC's 'Revenge'").
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Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by ICv2 on February 19, 2014 @ 2:53 am CT